Some call it a “war on Christmas” while others call it simple courtesy, but wishing someone “Merry Christmas” has become unacceptable in some circles.
Whitney Cummings shared during a recent interview with Conan O’Brien on his TBS show that she was the recipient of a human resources complaint last December.
The 37-year-old comedian said one of the things that stresses her out about the holiday season the most is “the terminology around it all.”
“Last year, I was working on a TV show, got in trouble with human resources for saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to an intern,” she said.
O’Brien asked in disbelief if that was true.
Cummings confirmed and explained that the incident in question occurred nearly a week before Christmas.
“I was like, ‘Bye, guys. Merry Christmas.’ Like just a formality, what you would say,” she explained.
“I come back, like, June 6. HR calls me and they’re like, ‘Hey, we need to talk to you. One of the interns is pissed off that you said Merry Christmas.’”
“By the way, I was like, ‘I don’t even care how your Christmas was,’” Cummings added. “It was just a formality. Like, that’s what you say when you leave.”
O’Brien responded by pointing out that “Merry Christmas” could offend someone.
“In these times we’re in, that could trigger someone or offend them if it’s not their holiday,” he said.
Cummings said she asked HR what she should’ve said instead and what holiday the intern would have approved, but HR told her the intern was agnostic.
“I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. You do not get to do that,'” she said.
She further explained that she would have to be more “intimately connected” to know someone’s religion or preferred winter holiday.
“I should not know who believes in God and who doesn’t,” she said.
“I also can’t guess either, you know? I can’t, like, guess your holiday based on what you look like. That’s offensive — that’s very offensive.”
Cummings responded to the story the following day on Twitter.
“I’ve been told the safest thing to say is ‘have a good holiday’ then to set yourself on fire,” she wrote.
The comedian never divulged which television show the incident occurred, but according to People, she was working as an executive producer on the set of “Rosanne” in 2018 and also had brief appearances on “Crashing” and “Adam Ruins Everything.”
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